After the Thursday night win over San Antonio, I was ready to deliver a complimentary post on TCG regarding the Jazz and thier win. I never found time to post on Friday, due to work and other obligations. So... I decided to wait and see how we performed at home against bottom-feeder Sacramento (believing that this would be an automatic win)... and all the sudden... this happened! Wow!
The reactionary and impressionable Jazz fan in me is about ready to explode inside! This loss is inexcusable. Unpardonable. Sacramento is arguably the worst team in the NBA. They were playing without their star player Kevin Martin. There was no reason in the world to lose at home to the Kings.
This inevitably has led me to think about what's wrong with this team... the Jazz. If there was ever a sign that something was wrong in Jazzland (which we've all been presuming), it was most definitely THIS moment... a loss at home to the Kings. I know the season is young (just started in fact)... there are still plenty of games to play... But, we've started a trend that is downright unhealthy, undisciplined, and unspeakable. Here are some potential reasons as to why it's happening:
1. Lack of Leadership
Harpring is gone. Perhaps the only reason Harpring was on the team was because he was a stalwart leader and example of discipline/hard work. We don't have any leaders. I believe Deron is trying, but Boozer, Memo and AK are NOT leaders. These guys aren't stars either.
2. No Defense
We knew we were bad defensively but... boy... we're really bad. Our bigs are flat-footed and slow. We're completely unmotivated to play defense.
3. Terrible Personnel Mix
On paper, Kevin O'Connor has put together a lethal combination of talent for the Jazz. However, on the floor, I believe we have a dreadful combination of non-melding talent. We have too many "me-first" players. We need more hustlers like the Rockets. We have no shooters. Memo, our center, is the best shooter on the team... which says a lot. To make matters worse, our top paid performers aren't motivated and consistent enough to carry the team (Boozer, AK, Millsap & Memo). Deron can't seem to bring them all together (not his fault... tough task), nor do it by himself... which he tried to do (29 & 15 last night, despite losing).
4. Jerry Sloan
He's lost his edge. It comes with the territory of getting older. I don't think he's able to motivate these players like he used to. It's a different generation... a different animal. Only Deron Williams seems to be able to motivate himself for every game like Stockton and Malone used to do. The others struggle to get going. The coach's job in the NBA is to manage egos and motivate players. I don't think it's happening with this bunch.
5. The Loss of Larry Miller
Larry was a fiery and interactive owner. He showed his passion towards the team, often going into the locker room and berating the team if they didn't play up to their potential. I think we miss his presence and his passion.
I suppose there are a few silver linings to this lousy season start...
- Wes Matthews is an absolute revelation. Talk about draft day steal... Wait a second, we wasn't even drafted! And yet, he's putting up some impressive performances. Kudos to Wes.
- Fesenko is playing some meaningful minutes for us. It's good to see him play to his size & strength while helping the team on defense and in the post.
- Brewer and Memo seem to be giving good effort and quality contributions. Despite injuries, Memo still provides us with shooting.
- I suppose if we kept losing, the lottery might not be a bad place to reside afterall... We could possess two lottery picks next summer when all is said and done. And hopefully... blow this thing up & start over!